DO YOU KNOW HOW TO READ NEW NUTRITION LABELING?
The European Commission has approved the standardisation of information that should be displayed on the nutrition labeling. This will be in force as of December 2014.
Mandatory nutritional information must include:
- Energy value
- Fat content with saturated fat included
- Carbohydrates with sugars included
- Salt content
All the information will be given in 100 g/ml and per ration of food, and all the ingredients should be detailed in a list in decreasing order according to the amount included in the product.
In addition, the brands or manufacturers can choose the inclusion of more nutritional information about their food products. In these cases you can find information about the content of monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, polyalcohol, starch, dietary fibre and any vitamin or mineral.
What do they mean?
Energy value: Normally expressed in kcal (kilocalories), sometimes in kj (kilojoules). The energy you will obtain by eating this food.
Carbohydrates: Expressed in total amounts, and then separated into simple or sugar (Faster and more fattening, very common in bakery products, sugary soft drinks…) and complex (Slower, ideal as a source of energy, present in pasta and rice, a good alternative are the brown or wholegrain varieties).
Proteins: High protein content will favour recuperation and regeneration of muscular tissue worn by physical effort.
Total fat: Divided into saturated, trans (Known as bad fat), mono and polyunsaturated (Good fat). When shopping groceries you should look for food with a low fat content and most of it should be “good” fat.
If you want to control your weight…
Don’t only take into account fat and calorie totals; it is much more important to pay attention to the amount of saturated and trans fat, as well as simple carbohydrates (Sugars). The lower the content of these elements, the healthier the food is and the easier it will be to maintain your weight with healthy eating habits.
If you would like to find out more on the topic of nutrition labels, ask our nutritionists. Did you find this article helpful? Share it with your friends and comment below, if you have more questions.
Laura Berninches Pintado
Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer
Holmes Place Montecarmelo